Tableau Software Plans IPO to Drive Sales Expansion

Tableau Software Inc., which devises programs to turn complex databases into graphics and maps, is planning an initial public offering within the next four to nine months and named F5 Networks Inc. Chief Executive Officer John McAdam to its board to help drive its expansion.

The Seattle, Washington-based company will pick bankers to advise on a share sale within a month and could go public in as little as four months, board member and investor Scott Sandell said in an interview.

Tableau Software was co-founded in 2003 by Pat Hanrahan, an Academy Award-winning Stanford University professor whose software has created movie special effects and animations. The company’s products are designed to integrate with a customer’s databases or spreadsheets and let anyone turn columns of numbers into interactive maps and graphs without any need for programming skills.

More than 10,000 companies, including Bank of America Corp., Coca-Cola Co. and Apple Inc. have adopted Tableau Software’s products. While the company will “soon” hire bankers for an IPO it has yet to decide how much money it will seek to raise, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Christian Chabot said in an interview. It may post revenue in excess of $100 million this year, he said.

International Expansion

The company plans to use the proceeds for research and development and to speed up international expansion, Chabot said. The company, which has offices in the U.K., Germany, France, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil and Canada, wants to have a presence in other markets and hire more staff, he said.

The IPO “will provide us with the capital to achieve that vision,” Chabot said.

Since it was founded, Tableau Software has raised $15 million from New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm where Sandell is also a general partner. So far, it has used about $1.5 million of that funding and has had positive cash flow for three years, according to a spokeswoman for Tableau Software.

“It’s a remarkable story, it’s a rare company,” Sandell said.

McAdam said he will help Tableau Software grow its revenue. F5, an Internet traffic management technology provider, has increased its revenue to $1.4 billion for its fiscal year ending September, from $109 million when McAdam took the helm in 2000.

“What I’ll bring is more operational expertise,” McAdam said in an interview. “I have lots of expertise in driving the numbers. I have a lot of global experience as well.”

The market for business analytics software should grow at a compound annual rate of nearly 10 percent through 2016, when it will reach $50.7 billion globally, according to researcher IDC.

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